For the first time ever, Heathside School will welcome GCSE students this year, headteacher Katherine Vintiner explains why they will be taking an innovative approach to learning in the senior school.
Heathside School Hampstead is a vibrant and nurturing school for children from age two. Recently granted permission from the Department for Education has allowed the school to extend the upper age range of pupils to 16 for the first time this year. Headteacher Katherine Vintiner believes that simply offering students a range of GCSEs is not enough though, so the school has found a new way to ensure that all students achieve their best possible outcomes – the Heathside Fellowship.
“The true meaning of education is to bring forth what is within, and we have developed the Heathside Fellowship with that firmly in mind,” Katherine tells us. “The Fellowship is a five-pronged approach to education that enables students to gain experience and qualifications in a wide range of areas. The purpose of the Fellowship is to equip Heathside students for their future in a rapidly changing world. The five elements – Scholarship, Pre-cognition, Autonomy, Citizenship and Entrepreneurship – blend to give each student experiences that allow them to play to their strengths and interests.”
First and foremost come academic qualifications: Scholarship. Heathside is a non-academically selective school, but academic standards are high. Focus is not only on the GCSE subjects but scholarship itself; how to learn, think critically and build confidence. By helping every student learn to learn, the school gives them every possibility to achieve the best results they can.
Pre-cognition helps students explore the changes and opportunities that are taking place in the world around them, driven by rapid technological advances in areas such as climate change, AI or gaming. A pre-cognition convention held each year has been designed to put students face to face with speakers from innovative companies.
Autonomy is about ensuring that young people have the leadership and team building skills required in the workplace, this is achieved through an employability skills qualification offered by the Association of Business Executives.
Citizenship is sewn into the entire curriculum at Heathside, through the house system, and the Fellowship encourages volunteering centred on caring for others and the physical environment.
Finally, Entrepreneurship – through careers advice, employment skills training and the mini MBA, students will gain an understanding of the world of work and how to bring a commercial idea to life.
“The Heathside Fellowship is driven by a clear focus on our ethos and will equip students with the information, skills and toolkit to really find themselves and become knowledgeable and engaged citizens,” Katherine concludes. “I am so excited that Heathside is able to offer young people such a wide variety of experiences and hope that we will help each student to discover the path to their own future.”
For all admissions enquiries, or to book a socially-distanced school tour, call 020 3058 4011. Heathside School, 84a Heath Street, NW3 (heathsideprep.co.uk)